Local designer captures growing market

INTERSTATE and overseas expansion may soon be on the horizon for Hobart-based furniture brand VAN TUIL.

Furniture and object designer Scott van Tuil, who is the instigator of the brand, said a recent trip to the Milan Furniture Fair revealed a demand for products with a distinct story of place and meaning.

“Tasmania is such a special place and we have a unique story to tell and I think we can begin to do that through designed objects,” he said.

“I believe that with such a large demand for quality products, alongside Tasmania’s growing identity, we can establish our own niche.”

Such is his confidence in the product and potential market that Mr van Tuil has opened a new studio and exhibition space above the Franklin Restaurant in Argyle Street, Hobart.

“This is a significant step in developing a space that best represents my brand and my work,” the Design Institute of Australia’s Victoria/Tasmania 2015 Graduate of the Year said.

“It is hard for people to see what I do when I’m working from home or buried away in a workshop, especially if they are tourists visiting the state for a short time.

“This is a space where I can design, display and engage with interested people who want to know more about my products and their providence, especially products made from natural Tasmanian products like our beautiful timbers and natural stone.

“To be able to connect someone to a product and its origins makes the relationship between person and object that much deeper and more meaningful.

“It’s about choosing to own objects which will continue to hold significant meaning to us into the future. That is sustainable design”

One product that is garnering interest interstate and overseas is the Loft Bench.

Made from Tasmanian Veneer – by manufacturer Ta Ann – the monocoque hollow construction is light and strong, as well as being beautiful and striking.

“It is a product that I’d love to see in public buildings and galleries around the world,” Mr van Tuil said.

“I have the construction process refined to a point where it is now commercially viable to produce.

“And now that I have the space to show my objects, I am in a better position to connect with the world and show both my work and celebrate Tasmanian design more broadly.

“It’s a very exciting time to be a designer and maker in Tasmania.”

Caption: Local furniture and object designer Scott van Tuil atop his Loft Bench, which is garnering interest interstate and overseas.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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